State Capitol News
10:55 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Changes to State Law Legalizing Sparklers

Phoenix, AZ – The original law lets spaklers and similar devices be sold
anywhere in the state. Cities and counties were given some powers
to restrict the use. But the wording of the statute left
questions about exactly how broad that authority is. The
legislation approved Tuesday by the House Government Committee
seeks to resolve all that with a single statewide standard. Put
simply, it bars cities from regulating the sale or use of
sparklers. But Mike Williams, who lobbies on behalf of sparkler
manufacturers, said it curbs both to just six weeks a year.

(It was really fire marshalls that brought it to us and said use
is not enforceable. Could you at least restrict it to some
workable times for us, which we were OK to comply. So we're
giving up almost 300 days of sale in this bill.)

It's not just any six weeks. Sale and use will be permitted only
in the three weeks leading up to Independence Day and the three
weeks ahead of New Year's. But there's a major exception:
Sparklers would become completely illegal in Coconino and Yavapai
counties. Williams said that is based on the fact that much of
the land in both is national forest, where sparkler use already
is prohibited by federal law. For Arizona Public Radio this is
Howard Fischer.